Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Two Smoking Gun Head Wounds

Idlib Chemical Massacre 4-4-17
Islamist Massacre
Part 2: Two Smoking Gun Head Wounds
July 10-12, 2017
last edits July 18

Researcher "Qoppa999" (hereafter Qoppa) publish an analysis on Twitter back on June 30, that deserves more attention. (See  this tweet thread: "Following the trail of blood: A deeper look into the lethal center of the Khan Sheikhoun massacre.") I've been slow to finish this blog post to relate the important findings therein. His work identifies two children seen unharmed under opposition care and then later murdered, or at least wounded/mutilated with weapons or tools.

Qoppa also offers name identifications for these children: as it happens, a brother and sister of the Imad Al-Din (Imadeddin) Al-Qadah family, aged 5 and 8. These are related by marriage, at multiple points, to the central target family Al-Yousef, at least as the records are presented (ACLOS). The ID seems like deduction from batches of victims, with some  anchors to provided name-to-face matches. It's not the most certain ID but seems good, as explained below, and so I'll use these names.

Note: regardless of identities, based on the matching, these two children were badly damaged while under opposition care, physically killed and/or mutilated by the foreign-supported terrorists occupying this Syrian town.

Gas Victims in a Truck
The key here is footage from a CNN video ("Gasping for Life) using unique footage the most famous incident stills are taken from. It's horrible and strange: writhing kids in a truck, arriving from elsewhere at the Al-Rahma cave hospital. They're stripped half-naked and soaking wet already as the White Helmets medics seem to hose them off again in the truck.

These 8 children look dead in stills but most if not all are clearly alive and moving around, with one girl (#1 below) drooling foam and gasping horribly in the CNN video (and hence, I guess, its title).  I can't see that being fake: she and others are suffering real respiratory distress. Worse off is the guy with red eyes, mild cyanosis, irritated facial scrapes, and gasping weakly through pink, bloody foam - same video, 1:22. That looks like chlorine exposure, nearing the fatal point. (that's an unusual or extreme case though.)

Most arrivals here are timed roughly in a span from about 7:10 to 8:30 am, with these perhaps being early arrivals; no sunlight is seen breaking across the kids, suggesting the sun is still quite low. Some at least are re-loaded into ambulances and taken elsewhere. Qoppa999 has a numbered analysis, with children #5 and #7 being the main subjects here.

As that tweet notes, "they're among the "head wound children" - but here before being wounded!" And it seems so! Or at least one of them is in the photo we started with on day one (see Islamist massacre part 1, and right). The other might or might not be, but is just as interesting either way. They illustrate just how much concern the humanitarians of Al-Namechange Front and allies had for these victims of "Assad's sarin bomb." If they were willing to mutilate and kill even the children, don't you think they might have poisoned the victims themselves in the first place?

Hind Imad al-Deen al-Qadah, age 5 (as reported)
Left: CNN video, victim #7 above. Right: from a photo taken later (neither timed nor placed)

Matches: a girl of the same basic age and appearance, same length of hair with at least two yellow hair ties on each side, perhaps same earrings (?). Both views seem to show the same chubby face and same eyebrows (long and mildly arcing in the outer portions, heavier and sweeping down on the inner, similar in shape to the boy's - see below). The mouth position seems open from the side view, but that's the puffy lips to go with the chubby cheeks we see. There are no clear identifiers like a birth mark, but with fashion accessories included, this is a solid match, almost totally certain.

Differences: If this is indeed the same girl, then something in-between views has sliced open her forehead scalp, if not the skull beneath. This is on the right side of her head, the same side seen unmarked earlier. The full size of the wound and likeliness of it being fatal are unclear; this is the best view we get anywhere. In all other later views it's turned more away from the camera.

Seeing when this wound appears, we can rule out shelling from the attack, and falling on something sharp when the sarin hit her. This is something that happened after the White Helmets types were making a show of trying to save her life. It seems more like they, or someone allied, violently took it instead.

More Differences: Some possible injuries appear after even that  (tweet) (photo at ACLOS). But what they are is unclear; they could be abrasions, but appearing near the corner of her mouth and nose, it seems possible it's crusted blood, although we don't see any sign of that in any earlier pictures, or a caustic irritant that leaked out at one point. There's also a possible new mark of the same kind on her right shoulder as well.

Abdulrahman Imad al-Deen al-Qadah, age 8. 
Left: CNN video, victim #5 above. Right: from a photo taken later, around 10-11 am (by sun).

Matches: This boy doesn't have the most unique face, nor any clear marks. Yet with two good-quality images from the same angle, we can make a fairly solid call here. I see the same exact ear design, hairline details, and eyebrow shape, the same open eye, and mouth position, same type of nose and chin. The chances of two boy victims looking this similar is exceedingly unlikely, in a pool of about 100 (and no identical twins remotely near this age are reported among them).

Differences: someone has torn a small chunk of tissue from his chin, and sliced his scalp, at least,  besides other wounds to the head and body possible but unseen. In this case we can see this happened after his arrival at the cave hospital, after Islamist forces rescued him from "Assad's sarin bomb" and were in unquestioned charge of his safety. None of these added injuries seems fatal, but from examples below, I suspect there's a fatal one somewhere that these came with.

Most likely everything else was meant to mimic the random violence of "shelling injuries." They would fail, however; shelling can do almost anything, but tends to cause more random damage from shrapnel, flying bricks and concrete, etc. Crushed arms or legs are common, major skin scraping, etc. It doesn't just aim all its sharp fragments towards the head or face and miss entirely with everything else.

A Preceding Injury? Qoppa999 reasons this is the same as the boy with the nosebleed, and as I've noted, with a likely-fatal head wound to go with it. Qoppa reasons that the blood was washed off and fresh wounds added to Abdulrahman's face. However, I doubt this is a valid match, for these differences.

Apparent hair, eyebrow, and other differences suggest to me these are two different injured/executed boys. If so, the one we're looking at now is not included in the group photo above. The wound connected to those blood-filled sinuses seems is likely to be fatal - while there might be reason to add more marks after the fact (to resemble shelling), it seems odd they'd bother wiping off his nose blood first. Further, his apparently flattened face would have to puff back out after these early shots to later show no sign of being laid face down.

So I would scratch the middle connection in the top image here. But the left and right images still seem a match, and the second smoking gun head wound case remains.

Mohamed Mutilated? Petri Krohn noticed this boy after I started the April 12 post - crop at right from a larger photo of several victims under some trees, which I'll call "trees morgue." (ACLOS). That scene includes him and another boy with even worse fresh facial wounds (ACLOS). Qoppa999 identifies the one as  Abdulrahman and the other as his cousin Mohamad Turki al-Qadah. no matches yet to a before image, but if there is one, it would be of great interest.

If marks were added to Abdelrahman's face, it's likely the similar hits and hacks on the face of the boy next to him were intentional. That's not just blood from the nose; on close inspection, it looks like they tore strips of flesh from under his nose and the corner of his mouth, leaving the upper lip seeming to hang loose a bit. This was maybe done at once with some two-pronged tool. The lower prong, or whatever, also seems to have knocked out a few of his teeth. What may be just leaf shadows across his forehead and right eye could also include bruising from the mystery trauma. As with Abdulrahman, we don't see much of his body to see what other "shelling" injuries he has, but I guess these and the unseen fatal wound is all it did.

So that's likely three different boys with head or face wounds - Abdelrahman, Mohamed, and nosebleed boy. At least one was injured after he came under rebel protection. Most likely none of them was harmed by the alleged bombing, and instead all violence - besides all poisoning - was done by the foreign-supported terrorists occupying the town.

Family Identification
At right is a family photo shown to Orient News by the children's supposed aunt  (here stretched towards normalcy). Hind (age 5) is seen in the front, and seems a very good match with the girl under study. This, I think, led to Qoppa's ID, and seems to anchor the rest. The others: her brother Abdulrahman (8) cousin Mohamed (age 5?) is holding the camera, with perhaps cousin Adnan (4) next to him, as their father Turki Mohamed Al-Qadah sits in the back. Hind's brothers are not included for some reason. (so not the most relevant image...) Her own father, Imadeddin Mohamed Al-Qadah, is reported as a pharmacist and widower. How his wife died is unclear to me, but it's said he and the kids lived together with Turki and his family, with Turki's wife Nour Al-Azraq helping take care of everyone (hence the cousin-inclusiveness we see).

The boys in that pictures are harder to correlate, at least for me (Abdulrahman's eyebrows are not very clear). But Hind is quite likely, and the one identified as Abdulrahman is seen in the truck with her, if not in the later 'head wounds' photo. And their eyebrows are very similar.

Furthermore, their father Imadeddin may be seen in the "trees morgue," laid out next to what looks like his brother Turki (as seen above, and at right), and a boy we think is the 12-year-old Mohamed Imadeddin (ACLOS). The latter looks quite thin, sporting the face bruise, but unclear about the possible neck wound (see part 3, forthcoming). At about 13, he seems to complete the men's section here.

The children's section is also three bodies: Abdulrahman, marked up as seen above in next to, perhaps, Turki's son son Mohamed (age 5), with the more seriously wounded face. His other son Adnan (age 4, no marks visible) might be the third younger boy set aside (ACLOS). Hind isn't included here, nor is Turki's wife, nor his own baby girl Hind, 2 months old, both said to die. (note: both men have a son Mohamed and a daughter Hind, because they have the same father and mother with those names. At least, as it's reported. What differentiates them is their middle name: Turki's kids had Turki as a middle name, and Imadeddin's kids had his name.)

So this all lines up well enough the Al-Qadah ID is pretty sound - a good guess at least, and most likely correct.

It's generally a bad idea to take an unmarked "sarin" victim and ruin the effect by hacking their head. One should have a good reason or two for such a move. I'll propose five of them.
1) The patients refused to die on cue - these kids from the same family suggest the kids of this family were gassed with too low a dose - they need to be dead, one way or another, as we saw in the Ghouta chemical massacre 4 years ago - a man who didn't die had his throat cut open (neck injured, fatally) right in the morgue, between video shoots (video explanation).
2)  These genocidal Islamists like to use blades and tools on captive infidels and apostates, which I suspect these people really were: Alawites, Shi'ites, Christites, government supporters, other opposition members deemed to be insufficiently Muslim.
3) Injuries could be chalked up to the explosive bombs involved - maybe not realistically, but that's always been optional for Syrian "activists."
4) They didn't think anyone would care enough to dig into their pile of propaganda and find these damning before-and-after matches, like Qoppa999 did.
5) They know it wouldn't matter much if someone did; it would be some unpaid, no-influence outsider. All the paid insiders shaping opinions and events know these are the kinds of things you ignore, as you prolong this grotesque conflict to *end Assad's genocide.*

Thursday, July 6, 2017

OPCW's No Wind Theory

Idlib Chemical Massacre 4-4-17
Wind Direction Explainer
OPCW's No Wind Theory
July 6, 2017
Last edits July 10

The report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Khan Sheikhoun incident is now public. (PDF link) A number of interesting points are made, but here I'm interested what they say about the wind. Having invested some time into getting a clear reading from numerous videos filmed at different angles, and having noted in clashes 180° with the opposition's claims (as shown at right and explained here, it blew to the north-northeast, while families were reportedly killed mainly, or entirely, to the southwest).

So I remain interested in how opposition-supporting people and agencies handle that problem. Most just ignore the contradiction. This Al-Jazeera graphic (modified), shows the same area we identified (but bigger, showing the entirety of affected neighborhoods). This ignores the wind (which I added in green) and just noted more people lived that way than to the east, almost as if it blew in both directions. 

But the OPCW is tasked with understanding what scientifically happened. Surely they can' just ignore the wind?  

Point 5.6 in the report (p.18) explains "No meteorological data was available for Khan Shaykhun, therefore weather conditions were estimated by reviewing historical data from www.worldweatheronline.com and www.wunderground.com in Hama City, Idlib City and Latakia." Of course there are plenty of videos available showing the wind directly. But they ignored that meterological evidence, maybe because it wasn't pre-processed into "data," and chose to rely on limited  online sources instead.

Figure 3 (p. 18) is a map that "shows the wind directions over time in these three locations on the morning of 4 April 2017." I understand these are direct reading at the airport, and should be reliable for those spots.* (I'd be surprised if Islamist-run Idlib is part of this system, but normal government-held Hama and Latakia should be.) 
* <add July 10>As Charles Wood explains (see comments) World Weather Online uses 'computer models' that are often wrong. Weather Underground uses readings from volunteer stations, which aren't specified but could be accurate. Airport records are not cited, nor is the "synoptic scale" wind prediction, which is also inaccurate, compared to the actual wind on video. <end July 10>

But these are all some distance from Khan Sheikhoun and only given for the top of every third hour. Knowing the direction, we can see the closest match is seen in Idlib; at 3:00 am it was northeast at 5mph, and at 6:00 NNE at just 1mph, shifting to northwest by 9 am. That's like the prediction cited by Ted Postol for midnight to 3 am, but closer to the right time, and about what we see in KS just a bit later.

But having no clue what the real direction was, they apparently chose Hama as the best predictor, and it is closer. "The  team  estimated  the  likelihood  that  the  wind  was  coming  from  somewhere  between the South and the East, but could not be certain." (the map shows Hama's airport reading to the northwest at 2mph at 6:00). 

"Based  on  that  data,  the  wind  speed  was  low  but with  no  certainty  of  wind  direction." Low and uncertain could be read as very low and maybe irrelevant, and to the extent it is relevant, it could be almost any direction. This is handy, in context. Because I've assessed the probability of it blowing from the south-southwest to the north-northeast, in the video supposedly from the very time and place in question, as 100%. And I'm certain. The exact heading and speed are debatable, but not the basic direction. (The speeds is not very low, nor very high - estimated around 6-8 mph (a 1 or a 2 on the Beaufort scale), and higher than the other prevailing speeds the OPCW found online). 

Why the OPCW, with all its resources and brains, decided to forgo the most direct evidence for wind direction can only be speculated on. My guess is they did try it, but didn't like how that clashed badly with the affected area (which agrees with all we've seen - see below).

From the vagueness of wind direction, the OPCW turns to "narratives" that include  witness  testimony in  relation  to  the weather and topography." Witnesses to topography make no sense, but here we learn the OPCW is also considering "activists say" weather reports, and maybe their tip-offs to consider differences in elevation. It's unclear to what degree their massacre-concealing trick define the OPCW's findings. But in the narratives, overall, "the weather was sunny, with a clear sky and no discernible wind." (point 5.12) Then what did I discern pushing northeast in all those videos the OPCW ignored?

I noted topography as one other factor besides wind in my explainer. In the absence of wind, the main factors in sarin or any vapor exposure will be proximity and topography; those nearest the plume and those downhill will fare the worst. "But," as I noted, "most would say, and many have said about this attack, and it's mostly true - the wind is the main difference in who lives and dies," if there is one. And I hadn't considered topography much until now because it doesn't seem to matter, in light of the obvious wind visibly directing the alleged sarin fog, mostly uphill as it turns out.

Figure 4 (p19) is an (exaggerated) topographic map of the town (right). We're looking north here, and he blue area is the basic release point. Yellower areas to the left and towards us is what they suggest the sarin cloud sought out, killing those in its path. 

As they note "A broad description of the topography showed a small downward incline to the south and west from the initiation point."  A non-3D version from Google maps I've referenced agrees with this point (labeled version below) - if there was basically no wind, the plume should drift ... not quite into the purple area so much a bit in all directions (the immediate area is fairly level), but favoring a small valley wrapping around the north of that area. But this might be close enough, and it's not opposite of what the opposition reported. That is, if there was "no discernible wind" as they concluded.But of course there was ample wind they just missed in their deeply flawed approach.

So they chose to ignore the best evidence for wind, found a few reasons to basically ignore it altogether, and apparently settled on topography as the driver of death here. And as it happens, that's a lucky slope for the opposition's story. Figure 7 (right) shows the "origin of casualties, as derived from interviews and recieved [sic] evidence." As we've seen, this pointedly includes no usable wind direction clues. It will include where people were reported dying and being affected. It may not be complete, but should show the main area(s) at least. And, by a curious line of reasoning, this is also just about the topographically-defined spread area they decided on. 
But this is a bogus claim, put in context at right with labels like I used for Al-Jazeera's take. As I recapped at ACLOS a few days ago, based on a preview of the report, and revised here:

We can see the wind to the northeast doing the shaping, not that slope. 
* The smoke plumes analysis is clear, from multiple angles: all discernible wind shaping and movement is to the northeast.
* More relevant to any sarin plume at ground-level: The 'white cloud' of expanding vaopr (ignored in the OPCW report, by the way) has its left side smearing left on the wind (as seen from the north), despite this slope (the right side expands against the wind, I think, because it's in the tel's wind shadow, being just barely northwest of it). 

* That white cloud seems to expand into a fog that seems to spread left and towards the camera over the unseen 20-25 minutes between attack plumes and fog videos (a bit to the right (west), because of  that wind shadow). The scene makes sense in light of the model I made. Any sarin from THAT spot could coat the affected area (red dots), besides an ignored area south and east of it that should be hit twice as hard. We don't know what it is - perhaps but probably not sarin. There's no sign of any blast here, just fog suddenly billowing out at the time of the attack or false-flag event. (see white fog explainer)

* There's also a southwest fog area (also ignored in the report, except to falsely imply it might have been bombed at 6:45 like the other spots). From here, a recently-destroyed farmhouse of some interest (see here), the mystery mist clearly spreads left and towards (east and north), here despite a general if mild up-slope the whole way. It does split around a hill there, and will prefer the lowest path available, but it was dense, spread wide, and rolled primarily uphill on the wind, just like it would do in the north. 
 * It'll roll slower than it would on flat ground or downhill, but visually, it gets there, however fast. 

The OPCW have poor analysis or distrust the video to make this claim of no wind. ... Why couldn't they just cite the wind like normal?

I also wondered "Are they reacting to me? Maybe not, but who else raises the issue? And why scramble to explain unless there's an issue?" Now having seen the report, it's clearly no kind of rebuttal of my findings, just more of their avoidance of the true wind direction. The contradiction is fatal to the opposition story, and reality has issued a death warrant on it. By ignoring this, it seems the OPCW is trying to get the story though alive, out of respect to political agendas rather than to the truth they seem to be  sheltering these claims from.
Some Different Readings
1) HRW witness Ahmad al-Helou: Helou says he "saw the plane drop a bomb and the bomb falling until it hit the ground. The bomb fell in front of the bakery," meaning the famous sarin release point. It didn't blow up, but "he saw the bomb kick up yellowish smoke that spread in the prevailing wind." (HRW report) He would also say the wind must be to the southwest if he were shown the map. He'd clash with the video evidence and lose the clash. But anyway, he cites a wind, not a slope, as deciding where the "dust" spread.

2) Ted Postol (via Robert Parry)
"MIT analyst Theodore Postol notes that the plumes appear to be blowing to the east, in contradiction of the day’s weather reports and the supposed direction of a separate sarin cloud. ... Indeed, if the wind were blowing toward the east – and if the alleged location of the sarin release was correct – the wind would have carried the sarin away from the nearby populated area and likely would have caused few if any casualties, Postol wrote."
He's right, and that's a multi-way clash between the opposition/terrorist claims, various predictions, and the video. It's either a problem with the video or with the rebel claims (and with all clashing predictions). Rebel claims are usually lies, weather predictions are often wrong, and the camera doesn't lie, in itself. So here we are.

3) Rod Barton, the Interpreter: Arguing against Ted Postol's incorrect wind direction (a baseless prediction of a wind to the northeast - the same one the OPCW seems to favor as a possible direction, if there were one), Barton wound up supporting the true direction that's now to be ignored, because the OPCW decided there was just no wind direction.
"As further proof of faulty US intelligence, he claims that a dead goat found about 40 metres from the crater was upwind and therefore could not have been killed by sarin from the crater. ...With regard to the dead goat, Postol has simply got the wind direction wrong. It is clear from smoke drift shown in a rebel video that the air was almost still in the early morning of 4 April, with just a slight easterly movement above roof top level in the direction of the goat. Thus the animal could have easily been killed by the sarin from the crater."
"Almost still" is debatable, and could be seen as favoring the OPCW case, but again he shows whatever the degree, it's discernible, pushing smoke and fog at least partly to the east. He may have been aware of this problem in that, leading him to clarify it's very slight, and only above the trees (and it's true, that's all we see). And so he leaves it somewhat open ... maybe the goat is out of the frame after all and the rebel story remains possible? Note: The goat isn't exactly downwind (northeast), but rather a bit southeast, at least when dead. But at 40 meters, and perhaps less at first, the poor creature was so close it's likely to die in any case where a toxin was released in that spot, regardless of wind.If any wind could save it, though, it would be the one Postol decided on, again without good reason.)

4) Timmi Allen, Bellingcat: In a video analysis posted on Twitter, Allen explains his theory that while higher-level winds are clearly discernible and move to the left (east), there's a somewhat opposite wind at ground level pushing things to the right. But he can only point to one thing this wind seems to blow on, and fails to notice it blows in two different directions. This is the white cloud as it was just starting to expand: the right side is in the wind shadow of the tel (flat hill) and the left side is more exposed to the wind. Hence, the right side billows outward while the left does the same, but also gets smeared on the wind (see graphic above, first made in response to Allen). While the OPCW decides there was "no discernible wind," Allen sees TWO different ones, one of which doesn't exit, and the other one of which is fatal to the opposition's story.

5) Alaa Al-Yousef: Alleged witness/survivor, cousin and publicist for the case's star witness and "proof man" Abdelhamid Al-Yousef. As the CBC reported, after hearing from Alaa, he and his family "were lucky, the wind went in the other direction, Alyousef said." He doesn't say what direction that is, but is clear on it blowing towards his cousin's house and others, all southwest of the impact. But when the time is right, their story in general can be as lucky as he says his family was when the sarin blew away from them to the southwest - now there was "no discernible wind," instead of one opposite of what they need, and it was a gentle slope to the southwest that doomed some and not others. At least, the esteemed folks at the OPCW have decided as much, as they scrape for reasons to blame the Syrian government and absolve the foreign-supported terrorists there for the ongoing massacres of Syria's people.